First impressions of the HP Mini 2140 netbook

The HP Mini 2140 netbook was waiting for me at Mobile Tech Manor when I returned from San Francisco last night but I didn’t open it up until this morning.  The 2140 is the refreshed version of the original Mini-note 2133 and while it looks the same there are a few differences under the hood.

The 2133 had the Via C-7 processor which was not as good as the Atom but HP released that netbook so early in the game that the Atom was not available at thetime.  HP wisely kept all the features of the 2133 that were good when they refreshed this new version and it uses pretty much the same case.  This means that sweet keyboard is still there and it is still the best netbook keyboard I have used to date.

Here’s the configuration of the evaluation unit I am testing:

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This SKU ships with both the 3-cell and the 6-cell battery which is providing about 7 hours on the first charge.  That is more than enough and is better battery life with this Atom processor than I saw with the Via in the older model.

This unit shipped with Windows XP Home SP2 which caused me some problems at first.  Remember this is an evaluation unit and not a production unit so it didn’t have XP SP3 installed as it came to me.  I couldn’t connect to my wireless network as a result because I have it set to not broadcast the SSID and SP2 is missing the configuration option that is present in SP3 where you can configure the connection to happen even without that broadcast SSID.  I had to make a wired connection to my network, upgrade to SP3, and then set that one option to finally make the wireless connection OK.

I have only been using the Mini 2140 for a few hours but so far I am very pleased.  I can type like a speed demon using this keyboard and that is very sweet.  The 10.1-inch display is much better than the smaller 8.9-inch display on the 2133 and it’s easier to work with as a result.  The display resolution is 1024 x 576 which is giving me some problems with extended usage, especially that 576 height.  It really restricts the amount of information I can see at once, especially in the browser, and the high-res version that will be available in a few months will be much better.

The Mini 2140 has handled everything I’ve tried with aplomb with the exception of viewing high quality video.  It stutters so much that it is not feasible to do, something I have also seen on all Atom-based netbooks I have tested.  Everything else works like a dream and even multi-tasking works very well.  Plus that keyboard…  did I say how nice it is?  I have typed this article on the keyboard and at full speed, just as accurately as I would have done using a larger keyboard.  It’s really sweet.

I’ll have the 2140 for a few more days and I’ll keep posting my thoughts about it as I go but meanwhile here are some fast photos I’ve snapped of the netbook:

 

UPDATE: just to avoid confusion.  The 2140 uses either the 3-cell or the 6-cell battery at one time.  The 7 hours I am getting is with the 6-cell battery by itself.  Some folks were interpreting that both batteries were used at once which is not the case.

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